There are mixed opinions regarding the question, “are bananas good or bad for weight loss?”
One reason for the mixed opinions about bananas and weight loss is that there aren’t many studies on the subject matter. That has left room for people to come up with their own opinions on whether or not bananas are good for weight loss, and sometimes these opinions contrast.
Another reason why people question banana’s ability to be good for weight loss is that bananas have sugar content, and diets filled with excessive sugar consumption have been linked to obesity.
Breaking Through The Confusion
Now even though its true bananas have sugar content, the sugar content is found in very moderate amounts in bananas.
With its sugar content and all of its other contents combined, the average medium-size banana has about 100 calories, which is a rather conservative amount of calories when you think about how filling and what a great source of energy a banana can be.
Therefore, it can be said that bananas have the potential to help with weight loss because they can fill you up and provide you energy at relatively little calorie intake.
Now just because bananas have the potential to help with weight loss does not mean that eating bananas will guarantee weight loss because weight loss is based on your overall diet being one where you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning.
So only if bananas are helping you to moderate your caloric intake so that your overall diet is one where you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning can it be said that bananas are helping you lose weight.
What Allows Bananas Filling But Yet Low In Calories?
Above, it was stated that bananas have the potential to help with weight loss because bananas are filling and, at the same time, are low in calories.
Bananas ability to be filling but low in calories can be explained in 3 reasons:
1. High Water Content
Water can be very filling to consume, and as you probably already know, water has no calories. Bananas are made up of 83 percent water.
2. Fiber Content
Fiber can also be very filling to consume, and fiber has virtually no calories. The average medium-sized banana contains about 3 grams of fiber.
3. Content That Has Calories Are Found In Either Moderate or Minuscule Amounts
Not all the contents of bananas have no or virtually no calories like banana’s water and fiber content. Bananas also contain starch which can have up to 2 to 4 calories per gram, protein which has calories 4 per gram, sugar which has calories 4 per gram, and fat which has calories 9 per gram. However, each of these four contents are found in either minuscule or moderate amounts in bananas, and so overall bananas are a low calorie food.
Provide Energy At Relatively Little Calorie Expense
Bananas are not just potentially great for weight loss because they fill you up at relatively little calorie expense. They also can be great for weight loss because they provide longer-lasting energy at relatively little calorie expense.
This ability that bananas have to provide energy at minimal calorie expense is important because when you’re on a weight loss diet, you don’t want to be losing weight at the expense of you being tired all the time.
You still want to have plenty of energy while you’re losing weight.
How Are Bananas Able to Provide Longer-Lasting Energy and Yet Be Low in Calories?
Calories are simply units of energy.
When the body takes in or consumes too much calories (or energy), the leftover energy will be stored as fat that the body will burn in the future when it needs energy.
All fat is stored energy due to excess calories or energy consumption.
As mentioned earlier, the average medium-size banana (7-7/8inches) has about 105 calories.
105 calories is enough energy to energize the body, but not enough to where there should be energy left over that could be converted into fat.
Much of the energy that bananas provide is longer lasting energy, and this has to do with bananas sugar and fiber content. You see bulk up the energy or calories that bananas provide comes for there sugar content. Of the 105 calories of energy that a banana provides about 53 percent comes from it sugar content. Most of it or 53 percent of it comes from its sugar content
Sugar is a simple carb meaning its easy for the body to break it down.
Fiber is a complex carb that is hard for the body to break down which is why fiber travels through the body largely intact.
This is also why fiber has virtually no calories because it is hard for the body to break down fiber and extract energy from it.
Now not only is fiber hard for the body to break down, but when sugar and fiber are eaten together, the fiber will slow down your body’s ability to break down and extract energy out of the sugar content.
Therefore the energy that the sugar provides is spread out over a longer period of time.
This is secret to why bananas are able to provide long lasting energy because there fiber contents slows down the breaking down of the sugar content so the energy from the sugar content last longer.
Bananas also have resistant starch which is similar to fiber in that it’s a complex carb. The greener the banana the more resistant starch it has, but as bananas start to ripen there resistant starch content becomes less and less.
Bananas have 105 calories which is not enough to be fattening. But enough energy to give the body an energy buzz. Much of the energy that bananas provide is spread out due the fact that much of energy that bananas provide come from there sugar content, and Bananas fiber content slows down the body’s ability to break down the sugar content so the energy from sugar last longer.
Natural Sugar VS Added Sugar
As mentioned earlier, one reason that confuses whether bananas are good for weight loss is their sugar content because there is a link between excessive sugar content and obesity. However, when health experts speak about how sugar consumption and leads to obesity. They usually refer to foods with a lot of added sugars, and they aren’t referring to natural sugar foods like bananas. It’s important to understand the difference between natural sugar foods like bananas and foods with a lot of added sugar.
Even though there aren’t a lot of studies pertaining to bananas and weight loss, there are studies on contents found in bananas and weight loss.
As mentioned above, one of the things that make bananas so weight loss friendly is their fiber content, and there are studies that show fiber consumption has an inverse relationship with body weight (1)(2)(3).
Do not overeat bananas; not only could you end up taking in certain nutrients in excessive quantities, which is not healthy, but you wind up taking in too many calories through your banana consumption.
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